Faculty and Staff


We are healthcare consumers, caregivers, and survivors. We are teachers and learners.

We are healthcare providers, lawyers, social workers, researchers, and policy shapers.

We are collaborators and problem-solvers. We are advocates.

To contact a specific staff person, call (608) 265-6267 or email us at info@patientpartnerships.org.

Meg Gaines. Photo by Amber Arnold

Martha “Meg” Gaines, J.D., LLM

Director / Clinical Professor

Martha “Meg” Gaines, founder and director of the Center, was called to advocacy work after her own experience with illness. In 1994, Meg was diagnosed with ovarian cancer which ultimately spread to her liver. In early 1995, a doctor told her to “go home and think about the quality, not the quantity” of her remaining days. Her children were toddlers at the time. But Meg did not go home and die. She went on an odyssey around the United States and found the surgeon who would save her life.


Once she was in remission, Meg returned to her job at the law school and, in 1998, was named Assistant Dean for Student and Academic Affairs. But Meg soon felt called to a new career. Mindful of the role her education and resources played in her survival, Meg decided to commit her professional energies to helping other patients facing life threatening and serious chronic illnesses get the care they need. In September 2000, she and several colleagues founded the Center.

Meg received her undergraduate degree in religion from Vassar College in 1977 and graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1983. Following her graduation, she served as a law clerk in Arizona and as a trial attorney for the Milwaukee office of the State Public Defender. In 1987, she returned to the Remington Center at the University of Wisconsin Law School to teach. She earned her post-graduate Master of Laws degree in 1993 from the University of Wisconsin.

Sarah Davis, J.D., MPA

Associate Director / Clinical Asst. Professor

As Center Associate Director, Sarah Davis is currently collaborating with our new Directors of National Initiatives and Educational Development on our exciting emerging endeavors in e-learning, professional field-building, and activities related enhancing the capacity of patients to influence state and federal health policy, and the responsiveness of the health care system to consumers’ experiences.


Sarah co-teaches Center courses and in Integrative Cases at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. She serves as principal investigator/preceptor for MPH and medical students engaged in research projects at the Center. Sarah provides significant leadership to curriculum development at the Center – including formation of our Certificate programs, new course development (recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars Course Development Grant), and currently the JD-MPH joint degree program. She also serves as a consultant to health care organizations who are engaging health care consumers in health systems improvement efforts.

Sarah served as the chair of UW’s Interprofessional Health Committee from 2008-10 and currently represents the Center on the SaveBadgerCare and Covering Kids and Families coalitions. Publications include: “Educating for Health Advocacy in Settings of Higher Education” in Patient Advocacy for Health Care Quality: Strategies for Achieving Patient-Centered Care, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc. (with Meg and Rachel) and “Ten Strategies to Build Partnerships With Patients,” Wisconsin Medical Journal (with Meg and former colleague Mary Michaud).

Sarah graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Concurrently, she obtained a master’s degree from the La Follette School of Public Affairs, during which she staffed the Dane County/Madison Joint Public Health Advisory Committee, working towards the unification of the county and city public health departments.

Rachel Grob, M.A., Ph.D.

Director of National Initiatives / Associate Clinical Professor

Rachel Grob, Ph.D. is the Center’s Director of National Initiatives. Rachel is leading the Center’s policy and research initiatives, collaborating with Center staff and other visiting scholars on patient advocacy field-building projects. Rachel brings to her position an ongoing affiliation with a range of organizations and institutions active in health reform, advocacy education, and health policy. She is also an experienced educator, coalition builder, and qualitative researcher.


Rachel’s scholarship about the theory and practice of advocacy is extensive, and includes collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of scholars to conceptualize and articulate a set of principles about how patients’ diverse voices can best be incorporated into democratic deliberation about health policy. This project was published in a volume on that topic titled Patients as Policy Actors (Rutgers University Press, 2011). Her qualitative research has been published in numerous articles and book chapters, including her book Testing Baby: The Transformation of Newborn Screening, Parenting, and Policymaking (Rutgers University Press, 2011).

From 2003 – 2011, Rachel was associate dean of graduate studies at Sarah Lawrence College, and she has been on the faculty of the College’s Health Advocacy Program (HAP) since 1998. For her last four years at Sarah Lawrence, she also directed the college’s Child Development Institute, engaging in research, outreach, and program development focused on children, childhood and education. As a Health Advocacy Program faculty member, Rachel taught a number of courses and played a central role in curriculum development, particularly with respect to increased focus on the linkages between individual patient advocacy, community mobilization, and system-level policy change. Over this same time – working in conjunction with CPP’s Meg Gaines and Sarah Davis –she played a formative role in nascent efforts to develop professional codes and ethics for the health advocacy profession. Rachel, Meg and Sarah co-authored: “Educating for Health Advocacy in Settings of Higher Education” in Patient Advocacy for Health Care Quality: Strategies for Achieving Patient-Centered Care. Edited by J. Earp, E. French, M. Gilkey. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc. (2008). Rachel’s research and scholarship on the connection between advocacy and policy change has been funded by an Investigator Award in Health Policy from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2006 – present).

Prior to completing her doctorate in sociology and moving into higher education full time, Rachel worked as a health advocate in public, non-profit, and community settings.

Jill Jacklitz, MSSW

Director of Education

Jill serves as the Center’s Director of Education, leading our educational program-building, curriculum development, and course offerings. Jill’s approach is informed by direct experiences advocating, through legislative and organizational change, for patients facing barriers to health care access.

Jill’s path to the Center includes professional and personal experiences in patient and systems advocacy, non-profit management and teaching. After receiving a Master’s degree in Social Work from UW-Madison, Jill worked in child advocacy at the Wisconsin Council for Children and Families for thirteen years, lobbying, coordinating community engagement and educational programs and serving as the organization’s Deputy Director. As executive director of a local non-profit focused on urban agriculture and community gardening, Jill raised awareness of the local food movement and saw first-hand its power to impact health. This experience led her to work in the community health field. As manager of community programs for a local health care cooperative, Jill advocated for health equity and supported patients navigating the health care system. Her work focused particularly on access to healthcare for those facing barriers including linguistic isolation, lack of insurance and poverty.


Throughout her career Jill has taught graduate courses in social policy, community engagement and methods of social work practice at the UW-Madison School of Social Work and supervised dozens of students in field education placements.

Growing up, Jill was introduced to advocacy by her mother who demonstrated a powerful example fighting for the rights of people with developmental disabilities. A half century ago Ohio did not provide the opportunities for her son to live a healthy and productive life in his community so Jill’s mother started community-based programs and fought for legislative change.

Currently, Jill serves as vice-chair of the board of directors of REAP Food Group, a non-profit organization that develops links between local growers and eaters. She also serves on the board of the Farley Center, advising the their farm incubator programming for beginning farmers. In her spare time Jill enjoys gardening, pottery and baking fancy cakes—basically anything that lets her get her hands dirty. She lives in Madison with her partner, two teenage children and their two dogs, two rabbits, three chickens and a lizard.

Kelly Douglas

Development Director

Kelly is the Center’s first Development Director, a role dedicated to raising funds to support and advance the ground-breaking work at the Center. A dual aspect of her position is communicating the purpose and advancements of the Center and the patient advocacy field to our supporters and stakeholders.

With a background in non-profit management, including fundraising and business development, Kelly brings the experience and energy needed to help propel our mission forward. The path to the Center has been carved out not only through her experience with an advocacy based, empowerment focused agency and a welcome reconnection to the university where she received her undergrad degree, but also through her own personal struggle with a diagnosis of malignant melanoma at the age of 20. While this path took various curves and detours, Kelly is thankful that these various elements of her experience lead her to the Center.


Kelly received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a certificate in Women’s Studies. Supporting women’s health and well being has been a central focus of her work, as well as creating access for under-served populations to necessary resources. Kelly also volunteers on the Fundraising Committee for Hillside Health Care International, a small clinic that provides essential medical care, disease prevention, community outreach and health education to the people of Southern Belize, as well as offering global health education for medical students.

Amanda T. Eggen, M.S., Ph.D.

Child Advocacy Coordinator

As Child Advocacy Coordinator, Amanda is coordinating a collaborative Child Health Advocacy Initiative between the Center for Patient Partnerships, the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the UW School of Medicine & Public Health’s Department of Pediatrics, and the American Family Children’s Hospital. The team is developing Community-Academic partnerships focused on improving the status of Wisconsin’s children through upstream population health strategies, while also strengthening community advocacy training for healthcare advocates—and healthcare providers-in-training. She is also Advocacy Faculty, teaching and mentoring graduate and professional students through Applied Advocacy Experience supervision, Capstone Project mentorship, and Introduction to Patient Advocacy course instruction.


Amanda came to the Center for Patient Partnerships first as a client when her father was diagnosed with Stage IV brain cancer. She was immediately drawn to the Center’s mission, and sought involvement in the educational program. While completing the Consumer Health Advocacy Certificate at the Center in 2014, she found her interests expanding beyond direct one-on-one patient advocacy, toward broader health system improvement, and policy- and community-level advocacy. She worked with the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families to develop her Capstone project as a proposal for Capturing the Patient Experience through the Wisconsin ACA Marketplace Implementation. She joined the center as academic staff in July 2014.

Amanda earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology from UW-Madison. Her research focused on how sociocultural factors impact psychological processes, interpersonal communication and ultimately, overall well-being. She previously taught communications courses in varied educational settings in the U.S., Vietnam and Ethiopia. This background equips Amanda with an understanding of how sociocultural backgrounds can influence health perceptions and preferences, provider-patient communication and relationship preferences, among other social and cultural sensitivities that are important at multiple levels of advocacy. She has also taught psychology courses at UW and previously worked as a business process consultant in the information technology industry.

Kay Barrett, M.D.

Medical Consultant

Kay is a retired cardiologist who joined the Center to assist help students understand the nature and course of their client’s medical conditions, frame decisions, understand navigation of our chaotic medical system, and explore clinical trials.


After completing a BA in Germanic studies at the University of Michigan, Kay completed medical school there, an internal medicine residency at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, and a fellowship in cardiology, also at U of M. She came to Madison to join East Madison Clinic (now Dean East). After a career as an interventional cardiologist, she came to the Center as a student wanting to continue assisting patients. The opportunity join the Center and to help guide students as they explore patient advocacy is a new and exciting opportunity.

Lane Hanson, MSW

Intake Coordinator / Research Assistant

Lane Hanson is the Intake Coordinator/Research Assistant for the Center. This role includes research work on various National Initiatives and grant projects in addition to supporting course evaluation and coordination of client intake processes. With a background in social work and education policy, Lane’s work is informed through a social justice lens. Lane developed the desire to enact change within healthcare systems, in order to empower patients and their families, as a result of personal and professional experiences within these systems. Informed by the social work perspective, Lane applies a strengths based approach to this work recognizing the importance of developing resiliency and an emphasis on protective factors.


Lane graduated from UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in political science, a Master’s degree in Social Work and is currently pursuing a PhD in Education Leadership and Policy Analysis. Lane has previous work experience in health care and in nonprofit administration. Lane has assisted teaching courses in the Social Work program at UW-Madison and has worked on various research projects regarding education disparities for LGBTQ identified youth and connections to health outcomes. Lane recently worked with the local nonprofit organization, GSAFE, to conduct research regarding the school experiences of transgender and gender nonconforming youth in Wisconsin and has assisted in the development of education policy design in order to better support these students.

Pete Daly

Advocacy Faculty

Pete Daly advocates for patients at the center through his direct experience as a cancer patient and continuing client of the center. In September 2002 he faced Stage III Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Through the help of the center, he built his medical and support teams, entered a long lasting clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI), and learned to proactively address his health care. Not long after his diagnosis and receiving “as his life depended upon it” direction from Director Meg Gaines, Pete began working at the Center by directly assisting other patients and supervising professional degree students.


In his cancer journey, Pete has faced multiple recurrences, each time leaning upon his local medical team at the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, the clinical researchers at NIH/NCI, and the support of the center, friends and family. Pete and his wife, Nancy, have two children, Sam and Mary, and family is central to his wellbeing. Prior to his involvement with the center, Pete worked for 28 years as manager of a local private engineering practice and as a consultant.

Cindi Gatton

Advocacy Faculty

Cindi Gatton supports clinical and advanced clinical students as a clinical supervisor. Learning firsthand the importance of patient advocacy and system navigation during her only brother’s life limiting illness, she completed the CPP Professional Certificate program in 2013, and launched a private patient advocacy practice serving individuals and employers in Georgia (www.georgiapatientadvocate.com).

After completing her B.S. in education at the University of Virginia, and her M.A. in speech and language pathology at The George Washington University, she practiced as a speech/language pathologist for 5 years before migrating to the business side of healthcare. She worked for both healthcare start ups as well as Fortune 250 organizations in a sales and account management career that spanned more than 25 years.


Cindi has embraced and is passionate about distance education. Residing in Atlanta, she is the proud mother of two “launched” sons, and an avid gardener and hiker. 

Liana Lamont

Executive Assistant

In 2012, my brothers and I became CPP clients as we sought a clinical trial to treat our mother’s bladder cancer. It was over that six-month period that I truly understood the amazing work that goes on here at CPP. I am proud to now be part of the support team that trains new advocates and that participates in research for best-practices to engage patients to transform their experiences.


My academic background is in biochemistry and genetics, and I have taught introductory chemistry classes at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Madison Area Technical College. My passion is to engage students in self-directed learning and to encourage students to pursue their curiosity. I see my work at CPP as a novel application for my scientific, teaching, and cancer-support-team expertise.

Robin Conkey

Program Administrator

Robin began her career working in health care administration for a large medical group and soon found herself advocating for a family member with a severe illness. This experience led to a role within a public interest law firm specializing in advocacy for children with special health care needs. Robin is pleased to return to the university campus where she originally completed her undergraduate degree. She is involved in many of the Center’s activities that support students dedicated to becoming skilled, empathetic patient advocates.


Christopher Yue

Academic Technologist

Christopher provides academic technology support to all CPP staff and students. He is a graduate student in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis program in the School of Education. He graduated from UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication Arts. He worked in marketing and public relations before returning to Madison for graduate school.


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